Popping vitamin D pills don't prevent disease for most, study says

Vitamin D supplements do not help prevent disease for the majority of people, a study showed. PHOTO: ST FILE

Vitamin D supplements do not help prevent disease for the majority of people, according to a new study published on Wednesday (Nov 23) in the British Medical Journal.

Vitamin D is made naturally by the skin when exposed to sunlight and is crucial to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. During winter months, some people may turn to vitamin D supplements to compensate for their reduced exposure to sunlight.

CNN reported that a review of evidence from clinical trials has found that attempting to get vitamin D through supplements is not so beneficial.

"We conclude that current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease," said Mark Bolland, associate professor of medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in a statement.

According to the team, clinical trials have failed to show that supplementation reduces the risk posed by falls and fractures to bones and muscles.

CNN added that the researchers recognise that it may be beneficial in people who are at high risk, such as those in nursing homes and darker-skinned people living in colder climates.

Researchers do recommend this group of people to consume supplements during autumn and winter, but also suggest that they get advice on how best to get vitamin D naturally.

According to the National Institutes of Health, fortified foods, including milk, cereals and spreads, provide the most vitamin D in the American diet.

Eating the right foods, such as oily fish, egg yolks, red meat and liver, also help to keep levels of vitamin D high inside the body.

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